Stop press 11th September - Public Health England has confirmed our community groups are exempt from the new 'rule of six' and are safe to reopen as scheduled.

27th August 2020

After six long months of restrictions, Alzheimer’s Support is delighted to announce that it will be reopening its community groups from mid-September.

The return of its wide range of Creating Connections groups including Movement for the Mind, gardening and memory cafes will be gradual and controlled, with the popular art sessions in Lyneham being the first to welcome back members on September 14th.

The charity began reopening its day clubs at the end of July, but many of its groups were held in village halls and could only be restarted once the halls’ managing committees had put their reopening plans in place. As with its day clubs, Alzheimer’s Support has carried out a thorough risk assessment and strict guidelines set by Public Health England will be followed to ensure everyone stays safe.

Sarah Marriott, head of community services, said: “We’re so pleased to restart our community groups and even though staff and volunteers will have to wear PPE, we are determined to ensure the groups will feel familiar and normal to our members. Singing will be replaced with other musical activities including listening games, musical quizzes and other stimulating and therapeutic activities. 

Fun, friendship and camaraderie is key to the groups

“There’s a real family feel to the groups and we know just how much our members and volunteers have missed them and how challenging lockdown has been for so many.

“Our online music and movement sessions proved popular beyond our expectations and they were a chance for people to keep in touch and show off their pets!

"However, nothing beats being together in person and enjoying the friendship, fun and camaraderie that the groups bring. The social element is really key to their success and members will be looking forward to catching up and talking about their lockdown experiences when they open again.”

Some groups have had to change location or may not be able to open until the new year due to logistical reasons such as the size of the venue, but the charity is working hard to ensure as many as possible are up and running again soon.

The groups are currently open only to existing members. Anyone wishing to join should contact Alzheimer’s Support's Devizes office on 01380 739055.

Covid-specific Risk Assessment for Community Groups

Creating Connections community groups

Music and Movement online sessions